Thursday, January 29, 2009

Shades of Grey

Man, it has been a long time since I posted! I am sorry but I have two things to blame it on; me and myself. I get too busy sometimes and when I am not too busy I am too lazy. So I blame me for getting too busy and myself for being too lazy. Anyway, as a follow up to the Vote the Bible I had written an article in response to a question posed to me from that article. (In case you did not know, I write a weekly article for my local newspaper and this blog is usually that week's article) Here is the article I wrote in response:

“I do not believe there is black and white, just shades of grey.”-a quote for the 80’s movie Soul Man. This line was spoken by a Caucasian lady who was trying to “date” the main character whom she thought was African-American. As it turned out he was really Caucasian himself he had simply taken an overdose of tanning pills so he would qualify for an African-American scholarship to Harvard Law School. Later in the movie this same lady was trying to date a Native American and she said, “I do not see red and white, just shades of pink.” As the movie went on the main character meets and falls in love with the young lady he had beat out for the scholarship and she was African-American. She was also a single mother with little income and had to work at the school cafeteria to be able to still go to school there. Through this he gained a new appreciation for the hardships some people have to go through to build a better life but he also learned that when it comes to morals and ethics, there definitely is black and white. Meaning, there certainly is right and wrong and doing wrong isn’t made right just because it benefits the one doing it.
An earlier article about “Vote the Bible” brought some pretty good responses. One response in particular was from a very good friend of mine. I love it when this guy questions my writings or talks because it always forces me to think deeper than I had. I also love it because he does it in a very loving manner and isn’t arrogant or nasty about it. I like to think that we are both this type of friend for each other. I hope anyway that I give him plenty to think about in his spiritual journey.
Anyway, here is his response:
“It's a tough one man. I mean, if I'm going to be a critical thinking (meaning if I'm going to throw some seminary blah-blah at you), which interpretation of the Bible should I vote according to? Which denominational lines should I vote along? I know what you're saying. But I think the one problem with the argument of "vote the Bible" is that the Bible can speak a lot of different ways to a lot of different people. However, if that's what you're saying - listen to the individual way God speaks to you through the Bible, even if everyone doesn't get the same message from God - then I'm all for it. Hopefully I can still be your friend. ;o)”Here was my response back:
“Thanks for the comment and forcing me to think deeper than I have. I understand how the Bible can say different things to different people. I mean let's face it, the Bible is grey in a lot of areas. In those areas it is up to the individual to determine their own personal black & white positions. I have little problem with folks taking grey areas of scripture and making them b & w for themselves as long as they aren't nasty about pushing their personal b & w on others. However, there are also a lot of b &  w areas in scripture and I always have a problem with someone taking a b & w biblical issue and making it grey to suit their self. And it is there in the b & w areas of scripture that should be the standard by which we hold others, especially our leaders. There are also lots of directives or qualifications, if you will, for leaders in scripture and the intentions of the blog/article are to encourage people (one) to vote, and (two) to use God's b & w qualifications for leaders to make their decision. In the grey areas, I am always all for people listening to the way God speaks to them individually because I believe the grey areas are left grey for the individual ways God created us to come shinning through for His glory. Yes; we can still be friends and even ‘brothas from another motha!’ Love you man!”
While there are a lot of grey areas in scripture and this leaves open the door for someone to make it a black and white issue and force it on others; the real danger is when someone takes a black and white issue in scripture and tries to make it a grey issue in order to justify their own depraved desire. When God says this is the way it is then that is just the way it is and no amount of pretty language can change that. It is too late to use this logic on how to vote for America this year but it can be used in another vote; the vote that determines how you live your life. Do you want to live your life in a grey fog of uncertainty all the time or do you want the clarity of knowing right from wrong and living it everyday? The choice is yours! Just let me caution you on the grey, the problem with a grey fog is that you usually don’t know what is out there in it until it is too late and you have already hit or can’t avoid it.